The American shipping companies and dockworkers ended their nine months of stalemate after both the parties reached a tentative agreement that would again make the cargo ships sail along the West Coast out of the 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle.
In a joint statement, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) president James McKenna and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) president Bob McEllrath, said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry. We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”
The union of dockworkers and the employers reached the agreement after the former agreed to resume work on Saturday evening.
The sources said that it’s likely to take weeks to unblock the traffic jam as well as the deadlock of cargo containers that have been sitting on docks.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) hailed the end to the stalemate that it called “crisis-level congestion and backlog at the ports.”
“We must dedicate ourselves to finding a new way to ensure that this nightmare scenario is not repeated again. If we are to truly have modern international trade, supply chain and transportation systems, we must develop a better process for contract negotiations moving forward,” the world’s largest trade association said in a released statement.
Recently, President Barack Obama had sent Labor Secretary Tom Perez to bolster the talks between the dockworkers’ union and the employers as the months long gridlock had led to severe disruptions in services at the ports at the West Coast.
In July 2014, the last contract of the workers had expired and since then both parties have been working without any agreement.